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Anchorage Museum opens powerful Tlingit glass exhibit Feb. 3

Preston Singletary, Ed Archie and NoiseCat,

Preston Singletary, Ed Archie and NoiseCat, "Frog Mask," mold-blown and sandcarved glass, 1999, 11.5 x 11 x 7 in. Credit: Collection of Raven and Robert Fox

Anchorage Museum of History and Art

Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire and Shadows

On view Feb. 3 through April 22 at the Anchorage Museum

For more than 20 years, Preston Singletary has melded the legends of his Tlingit heritage with the beauty of glass to create a distinctive, powerful body of work. 

“Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire and Shadows,” on view Feb. 3 through April 22 at the Anchorage Museum, is a mid-career survey chronicling Singletary’s evolution from night watchman at a glass studio to internationally recognized glass artist. The exhibition was curated by the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash., and traveled last year to the National Museum of the American Indian’s gallery in New York City.

Singletary, who lives in Seattle, was raised with stories about his Tlingit heritage from his great-grandmother, Susie Johnson Bartlett, and other relatives from southeast Alaska. Inspired by this legacy, he dedicated his work to both honoring Tlingit tradition and infusing it with new vitality.

He sees the Alaska exhibition as a homecoming. “I am honored to have all this national attention for my work, but my connections to the Native community and the Indigenous world community is where I get my inspiration,” he said. “I have a tremendous sense of purpose with my work because it represents my family,history, community and the confluence of cultures as I experience it.”

His unique interpretations of Tlingit legends are visible in his stunning glasssculptures, many of which are in traditional forms such as crest hats, masks and rattles. He employs a complex combination of techniques, including glassblowing, sand carving and inlaying.

In this exhibition, visitors will see nearly 50 works of art, including some rare objects being exhibited for the first time and Singletary’s most ambitious work to date: “Clan House” is a 16-by-10-foot glass triptych recalling the interior of a Tlingit longhouse. The exhibition is enriched with original music and a documentary film. 

Some objects on display are from the artist’s own collection; others were borrowed from museum and private collections across the United States. Singletary’s art is included in collections at the Seattle Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Anchorage Museum; and the Heard Museum, Phoenix, among others.

SPONSORS

This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Wash., presented by Alaska Airlines and sponsored by the Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation, Windgate Charitable Foundation and JoAnn McGrath. Support for the exhibition at the Anchorage Museum comes from Alaska Airlines, ConocoPhillips Alaska and the Gottstein Family Foundation.

ANCHORAGE MUSEUM

The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 mostvisited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science. Learn more at www.anchoragemuseum.org.

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